Status of the Class and Anecdotal Reading Notes

As we move into a new school year, many of us are searching for new systems.  If you are anything like me, you have probably uttered the phrase, “Next year, I am going to be SO much better at…”.  And you can fill in the blank.  Better at recording grades…better at keeping your desk clean…better about providing timely feedback to students–we all have tons of areas where we wish we had a system that worked.  One such system that I think is highly effective is my status of the class procedure that I use during reader’s workshop/independent reading.
back to school classroom library

So what is status of the class and why do I value it so much?

Several years ago I created a system for taking status of the class–something I value very much.  I had tried everything…class lists, special forms–you name it.  What I finally came up with was a calendar system…I LOVED being able to see the entire month at a time.  What I REALLY loved was being able to take some anecdotal notes right on the page…and then to use the back to work with students on word work or other decoding skills.  I despise my voice–but I did make a video of this process last year if it helps anyone visualize it.

I so firmly believe that we, as teachers, send messages all day long to our students.  So I want one of my crystal clear messages to be–I value you as a reader.  I care about what you are reading–and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

When we take time every day to hear what our students are reading and to do a brief “mini conference” with them helps us know their reading habits, patterns, and to help coach them to the next level.  See if this video explains it more clearly!

I seriously love knowing what my students are reading…it helps me make book recommendations, it helps me know where to focus my instruction, it helps me make small grouping decisions, and it helps students know they are accountable.  It truly is one of my favorite times of the day…and it works toward building that all-important culture for learning.  I actually make each month’s calendar on a different colored paper and get them all ready before school starts so each month I can just grab the next stack.

Making sure independent reading is a success

This is a perfect habit to build at the beginning of the school year.  I use it and many of the forms and ideas from THIS RESOURCE to help students understand what independent reading looks like and sounds like in my room.  It is a sacred time in my room, so I want to set the climate from the very first day of school!  It is SO worth investing the time early on to set those routines and expectations.readers workshop forms, reading printables, independent reading

Finally…one more item on my “to do” list is to do a little library reorganization.  Since reorganizing last time, I’ve added some new series and need to make some new book bin tags.  I LOVE how my library is organized and my students can use it totally independently which is so important to me.  One of my favorite times in those first weeks is a one-on-one conference I do with each child IN MY CLASSROOM LIBRARY where I get a feel for what they like and don’t like, and so on.  We start their “books I can’t wait to read” list during that time and make sure everyone has a book to get started on.  Even 5-6 minutes per student can give you SO much information about them as readers!

Easy classroom library organization!

Interested in how I organize my classroom library?  Just click the image below.  Disclaimer.  I despise my voice in this video as well…but sometimes “seeing” makes it easier.  I do not organize books by level as I believe students need to learn how to pick books on their own that interest them and are “good fits” so we work on that extensively at the beginning of the year.

reader's workshop independent reading

Anyhoo…one of the first things I start to think about for “back to school” is getting ready for a great year of literacy–so I hope these gave YOU some ideas as well!

Building a relationship with each and every reader in our class is so important–and SO much fun!  This is what reading is all about…helping develop life-long book lovers!  Thanks for stopping by.

Interested in the calendars?  Just click the image below.  They are updated each year so you don’t ever need to repurchase. Now this resource even comes with a digital component for even more flexibility!readers workshop, anecdotal records, status of the class

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classroom libraries, anecdotal records, status of the class, independent reading, reader's workshop, reading stamina